U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke listens to questions as he testifies before a House Financial Services hearing on the "Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy" on Capitol Hill in Washington

Wednesday brought us six pieces of news that makes us reflect on the strength in the stock market.

Bernanke’s emphasis on cost

We have always paid close attention to every word Bernanke utters. Wednesday’s press conference was unusual, in that Bernanke had more emphasis on the cost of the easy monetary policy. Our interpretation is that QE is likely to taper down sooner than what is generally expected.

In the long-term this is not good news for gold GLD and silver SLV . However, it is important to note that in the very short-term, the banking situation in Cyprus is supportive of gold.

Caterpillar sales

Caterpillar CAT   is a manufacturer of construction and mining equipment.

Caterpillar announced that February machine retail sales were down 13%; North American sales were down 12%, Asia/Pacific sales were down 26%, EAME sales were down 9%, and Latin American sales were down 3%.

Caterpillar is a bellwether of global growth, so weak sales say a lot.

Caterpillar stock dropped $1.33 in a strong market tape.

FedEx earnings

FedEx FDX   is a major transportation company and also provides business services.

FedEx is another bellwether that reported weak earnings. FedEx reported third-quarter (Q3) earnings per share (EPS) of $1.23 compared to consensus of $1.38. FedEx projects fourth-quarter adjusted EPS of $1.90-$2.10, compared to a consensus of $2.13. FedEx also sees full-year (FY) 2013 adjusted EPS of $6 to $6.20 vs. consensus of $6.35.

FedEx stock dropped $7.33.

Cintas earnings

Cintas CTAS  provides uniforms and related services to about 900,000 companies across the world.

Cintas reported third-quarter EPS of $0.60 vs. a consensus of $0.61. The company projects FY13 EPS of $2.50-$2.54 vs. consensus of $2.55…Read more at Marketwatch

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